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FEBS Lett. 2011 Oct 3;585(19):2998-3005. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2011.08.014. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

miR-21 targets the tumor suppressor RhoB and regulates proliferation, invasion and apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells.

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Department of Medical Oncology/Laboratory of Signal Transduction and Molecular Targeted Therapy, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.


It has become increasingly clear that microRNAs play an important role in many human diseases including cancer. Here, we show that expression of miR-21 in HEK293 and several colorectal cancer cells was found inversely correlated with ras homolog gene family, member B (RhoB) expression. miR-21 expression significantly suppressed RhoB 3' UTR luciferase-reporter activity, but the inhibitory effect was lost when the putative target sites were mutated. Exogenous miR-21 over-expression mimicked the effect of RhoB knockdown in promoting proliferation and invasion and inhibiting apoptosis, whereas anti-miR-21 or RhoB expression yielded opposite effects, in colorectal cancer cells. These results suggest that miR-21 is a regulator of RhoB expression and RhoB could be a useful target in exploring the potential therapeutic benefits of miR-21 mediated tumor cell behaviors in colorectal cancer.

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